FINDING DOROTHY SCOTT
Letters of a WASP Pilot
Sarah Byrn Rickman
Genre: Military History / Biography
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Date of Publication: May 30, 2016
Number of Pages: 288
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More than eleven hundred women pilots flew military aircraft for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. These pioneering female aviators were known first as WAFS (Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron) and eventually as WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots). Thirty-eight of them died while serving their country.
Dorothy Scott was one of the thirty-eight. She died in a mid-air crash at the age of twenty-three.
Born in 1920, Scott was a member of the first group of women selected to fly as ferry pilots for the Army Air Forces. Her story would have been lost had her twin brother not donated her wartime letters home to the WASP Archives. Dorothy's extraordinary voice, as heard through her lively letters, tells of her initial decision to serve, and then of her training and service, first as a part of the WAFS and then the WASP. The letters offer a window into the mind of a young, patriotic, funny, and ambitious young woman who was determined to use her piloting skills to help the US war effort. The letters also offer archival records of the day-to-day barracks life for the first women to fly military aircraft. The WASP received some long overdue recognition in 2010 when they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal-the highest honor that Congress can bestow on civilians.
PURCHASE FROM TEXAS TECH PRESS:
"Dorothy wanted to expand her horizons, stretch her boundaries, and -like her brothers- see the wider world that this phenomenon called World War II had dumped in their collective laps."
When I started reading about Dorothy Scott, I admit to not knowing much about her or the WAFS. I found myself immediately intrigued by this young woman and her tenacity to pursue flight. Dorothy, like most of us, was head strong and willing to put in the hard work for her dream of flying. Even when faced with a collarbone injury that laid her out for weeks, Dorothy continued to educate herself on her craft and hone her skills as best she could.
As I read about Dorothy and the WAFS, I felt such a sense of feminine pride. These women were strong women who stopped at nothing and were willing to fly anything just so that they could be in the skies. I never knew about Dorothy and the WAFS' involvement during WWII so this was a very eye opening moment for me. Learning about how they lived on the bases and pretty much maintained themselves as soldiers was amazing to me.
My absolute favorite part of Finding Dorothy Scott though were the photos. The photos were magnificent and brought to life what I imagine to be a trying yet wondrous time for Dorothy and the other WAFS. I was equally captivated by the details in which Dorothy put into her letters. It's almost as if she somehow knew she would one day be letting us all into her world.
Her life and accomplishments, as well as the rest of the WAFS, continue to inspire. I found myself stopping in between chapters to do some research on Dorothy and just couldn't pull myself away from her story. Thank you so much Sarah for sharing her letters with us, and thank you Dorothy for writing them.
Sarah Byrn Rickman is editor of the official WASP of World War II newsletter, the author of five previous books about the WASP, and an amateur pilot. In addition to her books, Sarah is the author of numerous magazine and journal articles about the WASP. Sarah is a former reporter/columnist for The Detroit News (Michigan) and former editor of the Centerville-Bellbrook Times (Ohio). She earned her B.A. in English from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University McGregor. Sarah was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and grew up in Denver, Colorado. She now lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, Richard, and their black Lab, Lady.
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